Wednesday, March 10


We've been terrible bloggers this year, mostly because, to be honest, it has been an overwhelming year so far for the Ottos. We've faced the death of my Grandma, Jackson's surgery, sickness, difficult situations in the lives of some friends and family, and well, just plain life in another country.

Here's how I'd summarize the last few weeks:

1. Grandma. I already wrote about her in my last post, but it always surprises me when I think about her and remember, "She's not here anymore." I'm glad she's happy and strong again....but I'll always be sad that there's one less person like her on this earth. I miss her.

2. Jackson. This boy does not do anything half-way. His surgical experience began with him leaping up onto the gurney, ready to go. Everything went just as smoothly as it could have, for which we are unendingly grateful. It's still a wee bit stressful to have your little guy go under the knife in a Guatemalan hospital. I'm still amazed at the peace we had as we made the decision, though, and the incredible gift God gave us of sending my mom down that very week.

3. Mom. I can't say enough about this. Except maybe I can, because if I start, I'll just end up blubbering. Ah well. We enjoyed almost 3 weeks of relaxing, laughing, talking, watching stupid movies, being tourists, talking, spending hours in the hospital, coffee-drinking, cooking, talking....just doing life together. And this house is way too empty without her.

4. Sickness. Before we moved here, we rarely got sick, rarely went to the doctor, never had a serious medical situation. Since we've lived here, we've experienced an onslaught of illness and injury, and while they've all turned out well, it takes its toll, especially these last few weeks.

5. The, um, interesting way things roll here. Let's just say that we've felt the earth move, literally, underneath us. Nothing, absolutely nothing at all like what people in other places have been through, but very! exciting! especially in the dark. Although the kids think it's quite fun to run outside at 2 a.m. in their pajamas. What's so wrong with that?
Then there are the "usual" challenges like: having the water go out for hours on end, power lines blowing up and blowing out some of our electronics (nothing valuable...thankful for that, too), and even just the general chaos around town as Easter season kicks in.

The bottom line is that, despite the stress and plain craziness of the last couple of months, we are all here, we are all healthy, we're all not only still speaking to each other but still loving each other.
I've actually gotten to see my kids step up and pitch in to help when I was sick. And they've simply blown me away with the gentle, sweet way they've taken care of their brother after his surgery. So, I don't know if I could honestly say that I'm thankful for the difficulties, but I am thankful for the beautiful things that those difficulties reveal, the things that you hope you are planting all along and that, when given the chance, really do bloom.